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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 313

Beta-interferons in multiple sclerosis

University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication24-Dec-2010

Correspondence Address:
Sourabh Aggarwal
University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.74189

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How to cite this article:
Aggarwal S, Sharma V, Mathew JS. Beta-interferons in multiple sclerosis. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2010;13:313

How to cite this URL:
Aggarwal S, Sharma V, Mathew JS. Beta-interferons in multiple sclerosis. Ann Indian Acad Neurol [serial online] 2010 [cited 2022 Aug 17];13:313. Available from:


We read the article "Beta-interferons in multiple sclerosis: A single center experience in India" [1] by Gupta et al. with great interest. We applaud the authors for conducting such a study in Indian setup. However, the high cost of therapy with interferon and even glatiramer acetate is a matter of concern in treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis in Indian setup. A study by Singhal et al. has concluded that mitoxantrone, which is a cheap alternative to interferon, has shown promising results in Indian setup when given as an initial therapy for the patients with multiple sclerosis [2] and could be given a try, especially when cost involved is a concern for the patients. Mitoxantrone acts due to its immunomodulatory properties by decreasing selectively the secretion of few cytokines like interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, and IL-2.[3] Mitoxantrone has also been found to be better when used as an induction therapy followed by the use of glatiramer acetate than when glatiramer acetate was used alone in the study by Vollmer et al.[4] Although few adverse side effects were associated with the therapy by mitoxantrone like leucopenia, urinary tract infection, and mild hair loss. [2]

The new emerging therapies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis include alemtuzumab, natalizumab, and autologous stem cell transplantation which have also shown promising results in trials with respect to disability improvement. A study done by Cole et al. reported reduced disability in patients treated with alemtuzumab. [5] A multicentric study carried out by Putzki et al. showed significant improvement in disability score with use of natalizumab. [6] Another study using autologous hemopoietic stem cell transplantation in relapsing-remitting MS showed significant improvements in neurological disability. [7] However, all these therapies are in preliminary stage and are associated with significant high cost which is a limiting factor in treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis in India.

Nonetheless, the authors have done a commendable job in view of the patients who seriously impaired by multiple sclerosis and we appreciate their efforts.

   References Top

1.Gupta S, Varadarajulu R, Ganjoo RK. Beta-interferons in multiple sclerosis: A single center experience in India. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2010;13:132-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
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2.Singhal BS, Geeta S, Hundalani SG, Menon S. Efficacy and safety of Mitoxantrone, as an initial therapy, in multiple sclerosis: Experience in an Indian tertiary care setting. Neurol India 2009;57:418-23.  Back to cited text no. 2
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3.Fox EJ. Mechanism of action of mitoxantrone. Neurology 2004;63:S15-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Vollmer T, Panitch H, Bar-Or A, Dunn J, Freedman MS, Gazda SK, et al. Glatiramer acetate after induction therapy with mitoxantrone in relapsing multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler 2008;14:663-70.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Coles AJ. CAMMS223 Study Group. Alemtuzumab Induces a Sustained Reduction in Disability in Patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. American Academy of Neurology. 61 st Annual Meeting, 2009. p. 145  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Putzki N, Yaldizli O, Mδurer M, Kuckert S, Cursiefen S, Tettenborn B, et al. Natalizumab Reduces Clinical and MRI Disease Activity in Second Line Treatment of Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: Results of a Multicenter Study. American Academy of Neurology. 61 st Annual Meeting, 2009. p. 5-128  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Burt RK, Loh Y, Cohen B, Stefoski D, Balabanov R, Katsamakis G, et al. Autologous non-myeloablative haemopoietic stem cell transplantation in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: A phase I/II study. Lancet Neurol 2009;8:244-53  Back to cited text no. 7

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